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Health

D Gets an F

Scott LaFee on

In recent years, vitamin D has been touted as a potential therapeutic for everything from heart disease and cancer to diabetes and depression. The jury is still out on many of these claims, even if supplement makers remain, uh, overenthusiastic.

But rule out at least one assertion: In a new, large, published study, researchers found vitamin D, taken as a supplement or part of a multivitamin, did not lower the risk of bone fractures.

It has long been known that vitamin D is important to bone health. The takeaway message of the study was that it doesn't take a lot of vitamin D for maximum benefit, and that can be obtained through a good diet and sun exposure. Extra vitamin D adds nothing.

Body of Knowledge

Humans have three pairs of major salivary glands (parotid, submandibular and sublingual) that open into the mouth through ducts. The parotid glands, the largest of the three, are located in each cheek over the jaw in front of the ears. Submandibular glands lie just under both sides of the lower jaw and carry saliva up to the floor of the mouth under the tongue. Sublingual glands are located just under the front-most area of the floor of the mouth.

Get Me That, Stat!

 

Lyme disease diagnoses are rising in the U.S. Cases of the tick-borne bacterial illness rose 357% in rural regions and 65% in urban areas between 2007 and 2021. Lyme disease is treated with antibiotics, but some Lyme patients have long-term symptoms, such as fatigue, muscle and joint pain and cognitive issues.

Stories for the Waiting Room

"Nicotine pouches" are the latest option in alternatives to smoking tobacco. They look and sound like candy, reports STAT, with flavors like "cherry bomb" and "fruit medley." And unlike older products, such as Nicorette, current nicotine pouches, lozenges, chewing gums and gummies aren't marketed to help people quit smoking.

Instead, they've become popular with youth. A new study of 3,500 ninth and tenth graders in Southern California put e-cigarette use first (ever: 9.6%; past six months: 5.5%), followed by nontobacco oral nicotine products (ever: 3.4%; past six months: 1.7%), and under 1% for other nicotine and tobacco products.

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